SOS's Highlights of 2021 - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society
SOS's Highlights of 2021

Thank you for supporting SOS this year.

Here are some highlights of 2021.

Spotting wildlife

Orangutans thrive when they can live in diverse, complex ecosystems surrounded by thousands of plant and animal species, so we’re always excited to see what other animals live around our restoration sites. This year we’ve had everything from macaques and hornbills to tigers and elephants – either seen on camera traps or spotted first-hand by restoration staff. We have also had lots of orangutan sightings at restoration sites, including some at Singkil Swamp Wildlife Reserve.

A long-tailed macaque in the Leuser Ecosystem

Restoring the rainforest

This year, OIC have planted 199,099 trees across the restoration sites they manage. Given that this year was so challenging in terms of the Covid crisis in Sumatra, this is an even bigger achievement than it initially sounds.

Each of these trees also represents hours of work in community relationship-building, biodiversity surveys and tree maintenance, too – all vital elements in making the restoration sites work for people and biodiversity as well as for the trees themselves.

Forest Friendly Livelihoods

Our partner organisation, Nature for Change, runs the Forest Friendly Livelihoods project which grew out of our 2020 Covid-19 appeal. Working with people who lost their livelihoods during the pandemic, Nature for Change has planted 10,000 trees in the buffer zone around Gunung Leuser National Park this year, supporting 400 people by enabling families to keep earning money by planting and maintaining trees.

Planting trees in the buffer zone

Leuser Nature School

Now in its fourth academic year, the Leuser Nature School set up in memory of SOS’s founder is going from strength to strength. Pupil numbers keep going up and everyone is doing well in classes, from maths and science to tree planting and permaculture. One of the school’s mottos is “One student, one tree,” which means each student has to plant one tree near the beginning of their time at the school and remain responsible for the tree during the rest of their time there. In previous years, the teachers have demonstrated how to plant the trees, covering everything from preparing seedlings to planting them out and maintaining them as they grow. This year, for the first time, the school’s senior pupils (grade 9) were given responsibility for guiding the grade 7 students to plant their trees.

Leuser Nature School students with some tree seedlings

Growing the SOS team

Our little team has grown this year, and we’re delighted to have welcomed Sarah, Rina and Darmanto to the SOS family in recent months – bringing expertise ranging from fundraising to geographic information systems to environmental anthropology. ⁠

Across our social networks and email subscribers, we now have around 75,000 people who regularly hear from us and keep track of what we’re doing. That means a lot to us, as every one of those people cares about orangutans and their forests and understands that they have the power to do something to help them thrive. Thank you for being one of those people.

An adult sumatran orangutan

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